Democrats need to recruit 4 Republican Senators to their side in order to get witnesses in President Trump’s impeachment trial.
Mitch McConnell told GOP Senators Tuesday he does not yet have the votes to block witnesses.
So far Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT) has been the most vocal about wanting to hear from John Bolton.
Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) has also signaled she’s leaning towards allowing witnesses.
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) sided with Democrats when she voted both against Obamacare repeal and against confirming Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh, and could be a potential third GOP Senator to vote for witnesses, though she has held her cards somewhat close to her chest.
Per a new report from NBC, all eyes are on Senator Lamar Alexander.
NBC reports his political hero is former Sen. Howard Baker, the Republican Tennessee lawmaker remembered for his impartiality during the Watergate impeachment hearings.
Now, all eyes are on Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., as he could be a pivotal vote on whether there are witnesses in President Donald Trump’s Senate impeachment trial.
Alexander hasn’t tipped his hand and no one is totally sure of which way he’ll go.
‘You can’t predict him,” Tom Ingram, Alexander’s former chief of staff, told NBC News. “He will hold his counsel, make his own decision and you won’t be sure of it until he makes it known in due course.”
Alexander, who is retiring at the end of this term and has a history of working with Democrats on major issues, has been zeroed in on along with GOP Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski as the top targets for Democrats hoping to have witness testimony and documentary evidence at the Senate trial. Four Republicans will need to vote alongside all Democrats in order for new witness testimony to be admitted.
While the latter three have all expressed, with varying intensity, an interest in having additional testimony in the trial, particularly after the reported revelations in former national security adviser John Bolton’s upcoming book, Alexander has not given a strong hint as to his position, saying he won’t make a determination until opening arguments and senators’ questions are complete, which could be Tuesday.
“After we’ve heard all the arguments, after we heard the questions and the answers to the questions and we’ve studied the record then we’ll have that vote” about whether to call witnesses, Alexander said Monday. “And at that time, I’ll make a decision about whether I think they need additional evidence.”